What’s the Story Behind Banned Books Week?

By Joseph Tufano This week is Banned Books Week, an annual event held at the end of every September to commemorate the freedom of information in classrooms, libraries, and bookstores. It was created in 1982 by Judith Krug, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom (arm of the American Library Association) after the Supreme Court […]

Democracy’s Survival: Past and Future

By Haven Lerner An ailing economy, widespread worry regarding the fate of American democracy, and a government willing and wanting to take drastic action to address both. This combination of trends characterized the nation as both Joe Biden and FDR rose to power (albeit with some distinctions given that their presidencies were, after all, nearly […]

Democracy—and Immigration—in America

by Luke Henkel . Inscribed in the base of the Statue of Liberty, one of the most iconic symbols of American democracy, is Emma Lazarus’ iconic poem “The New Colossus.” Lady Liberty, the “Mother of Exiles,” cries out to the world: “give me your tired, your poor / your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, […]

Myanmar’s Coup Doesn’t Exonerate Aung San Suu Kyi

By Will Howard-Waddingham . Aung San Suu Kyi is a complex figure. She brought limited democracy to Myanmar when she won the country’s 2015 elections and ousted an unelected military junta. But her complicity in Myanmar’s 2017 genocide of its Rohingya population made her a pariah in most pro-democracy and human rights circles. Myanmar’s February […]

A Renewal of Civics Education—And Engagement

By Victor Shi The American democratic experiment—from who gets elected to hold public office to the policies that do and do not get passed—is premised in no small part on the notion of an informed citizenry. Indeed, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, “An informed citizenry is at the heart of a dynamic democracy.” Thus, […]

Don’t Want to Vote? Here’s Why Your Vote Matters More Than Ever

By Trevor Woitsky   As a mixed-race American with a Chinese mother and a Caucasian father, I have seen both sides of the racial fence post. I believe my mixed heritage gives me a unique perspective into both the advantages afforded to many white Americans as well as the scourge of racism, a daily fact […]

Denuclearize the Filibuster

By Leo Duke   Attacks on voting rights. Daily mass-shootings. A crisis at the border with no solution in sight, an erosion of trust between law enforcement and the citizenry, and the impending catastrophic threat of climate change. Our nation is in the midst of unprecedented and near-intractable challenges, yet congressional policymakers have never had […]

Leave No Democracy Behind: In Defense of Taiwan

By RDI Guest Contributor Alec Medine   Pourquoi mourir pour Dantzig? “Why die for Danzig?” France, 1939: in the heady days of late summer, these four words felt inescapable. They were on the lips of people in the cafes, printed in the newspaper headlines, voiced by intellectuals in lecture halls and on the radio, and […]

Democratic Shortsightedness: From Concern to Change, Part 1

By Teddy Tawil This is the fourth article in a series on shortsighted policy-making in democracies. It will begin to explore institutional reforms and systematic changes that could promote more wise, forward-facing policy.  To catch up on the previous parts, please visit the following links below: Part I Part II Part III   Free money?  […]

A Worthwhile Unity

By Guest Contributor Professor Robert B. Talisse, Vanderbilt University President Biden’s calls for unity are rhetorically potent.  But they’re empty in the absence of an object around which to unify.  The problem is that once that object is identified, our partisan divisions are awakened.  When the call for unity comes from a Democratic president, Republicans […]